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Encyclopedia > Shaver Mystery

Richard Sharpe Shaver (b. 1907 Berwick, Pennsylvania, d. 1975 Summit, Arkansas) achieved notoriety in the years following World War II as the author of controversial stories which were printed in science fiction magazines, (primarily Amazing Stories). The controversy stemmed from the fact that Shaver and his editor/publisher Ray Palmer claimed Shaver's writings, while presented in the guise of fiction, were fundamentally true.

Shaver's stories—and all they claimed to explain—were promoted by Palmer as "The Shaver Mystery". Shaver wrote of tremendously advanced pre-historic races who had built cavern cities inside Earth before abandoning Earth for another planet. Those ancients also abandoned some of their own diseased offspring here, who degenerated over time into a population of mentally impaired sadists known as Dero--short for detrimental robots. These Dero still lived in the cave cities, according to Shaver, kidnapping surface-dwelling people for meat and using the fantastic "ray" machines that the great ancient races left behind to project tormenting thoughts and voices into our minds. Shaver claimed first-hand knowledge of the Dero and their caves.

Between 1945 and 1949, letters poured in attesting to the truth of Shaver's claims (tens of thousands of letters, according to Palmer): the correspondents, too, had heard strange voices or encountered denizens of the hollow Earth. Fred Crisman, later to gain notoriety for his role in the Maury Island Incident and the John F. Kennedy Assassination, was among those claiming to have had run-ins with the Deros. "Shaver Mystery Club" chapters sprang up in several cities. Many in the community of science fiction fans felt compelled to publicly condemn the Shaver Mystery as "the Shaver Hoax". The controversy gained some notice in the mainstream press at the time, including a mention in Life magazine.

In the 1960s and 70s, now living in obscurity, Shaver looked for physical evidence of the bygone pre-historic races. He found it in certain rocks, which he believed were "rock books" that had been created by the great ancients, and embedded with legible pictures and texts. For years he wrote about the rock books, photographed them, and made paintings of the images he found in them to demonstrate their historic importance. But Shaver's initial audience had moved on decades before, and he never succeeded in generating much attention for his later findings.

External links

  • Shavertron magazine (http://www.softcom.net/users/vtown/shavindex.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Grapefruit Moon Gallery: The Shaver Mystery Magazine Pulp Cover (851 words)
The Shaver Mystery Magazine, for which this painting was created, is one of the most fascinating outgrowths of the early science fiction/pulp movement of the 1940s-1950s.
Shaver claimed first-hand knowledge of the Dero and their caves, insisting he had been a prisoner for several years.
Shaver's rambling manuscripts were rewritten by Arnold, both to make them more readable, and to remove or downplay most of the explicit sexual content.
Eerie Underground Bases Of The Star Gods & The Controversial Shaver Mystery (2136 words)
Shaver informed his readers that the Elder Race was not without its sensualists, and certain of its members, particularly, the lesser ones, varied greatly in morality and intelligence.
Shaver believed that the greatest danger to humankind lay in the uncomfortable fact that the Dero had access to the "mech" of the Elder Race's super science, but they did not have the requisite intelligence or the highly developed moral sense needed to handle the powerful machines responsibly.
Shaver went on to declare that the Dero were little more than sadistic idiots who have taken enormous delight in precipitating many of our surface wars, arranging terrible accidents for select members of humankind, and even in creating nightmares, as they train "dream mech " on unsuspecting humans as they sleep.
  More results at FactBites »



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